Tag Archives: Finding Your Voice in Midlife

Marginal Woman

growing up i learned two sides to everything
right wrong good evil should shouldn’t your way my way
love-&-acceptance fear-&-hate everything black-&-white
and marginal me a foot in each world
the devil’s advocate scaling both sides
tell her it’s black and she’ll say white my mother would say
what i saw was so much gray

cocooned that way in a world so light we all
just might disappear in a good winter’s snow
not a single black-skinned person
not then-and when they arrived my father (a product of his generation) declared
interracial relationships were not right black should not mix with white
i asked him what degree of dark complexion is the cut off line

half serb one-quarter french one-quarter ojibwa
mistaken for greek, italian, latino and
when summer tanned mulatto too (that was the word they used)
i am only the second born generation with feet on this land
i do not know the blood that ran in the veins of my people centuries ago
but I see all the shades of my skin and i know

fear and hate divide us across a parted sea of color
your side my side a chasm wrought
over what ought to be
while violence rains down and I wonder
can no one else see the philistines
working both crowds
waiting for us all to drown
in a river of blood
that runs
all the same
color

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All Work and No Play Is Just Too Exhausting

Yesterday I attended what is popularly known as a Psychic Fair. There were a lot of psychics there. Also several, very talented artisans offering hand crafted jewelry, clothing and accessories. I chatted with vendors over crystals and gemstones, herbals and essential oils, organic honey and beeswax, and singing bowls.

Today marks the midpoint of National Novel Writers Month, or NaNoWriMo. Before midnight, I should have 25,000 words of 50k for the first draft of my novel completed if I’m going to stay on par. I’m a bit behind, and I have two deadlines coming up on freelance pieces; the freelance work takes priority because it brings in the checks. More so, I’ve made a commitment to the editors. I have never left an editor hanging, and I never will – short of my own flat-line being the cause.

It didn’t make sense to take the day off to meet up with a bunch of girlfriends, talk off things metaphysical, sit in on some interesting mini-seminars and shop.

Or did it?

The day before, I struggled with the chapter I was working on, though struggle doesn’t seem to convey the experience. It was more liked I’d spent the day wrestling with a much younger, much stronger opponent, fighting for the pin. I was exhausted, I ached, my eyes burned and my brain hurt, but I wasn’t going to shut my computer off until I’d finished the chapter and at least gotten close to the word count for the day.

I went to sleep, trying to work out plot turns in my head. I didn’t sleep very well. I didn’t resolve any of my novels scenes either, so that was a waste. I remember thinking I needed a good neck and shoulder massage.

Well, what do you know? At the psychic fair a local mind and body wellness center was offering chair massages at a bargain. I signed up for fifteen minutes. The second the practitioner laid hands on my shoulder blades, I felt the heat penetrating through the light vest and shirt I was wearing. I thought maybe he’d warmed them first, but the heat lasted through the entire massage and it wasn’t just a surface warmth; I could feel it, like a pleasant electric charge, going deep into my muscles. It was the best massage I’ve ever had and maybe the most needed. I felt lightened, unburdened, when I walked away.

Usually I buy handfuls of crystals and gemstone when I go to these fairs. Sometimes I buy jewelry. I bought my singing bowl at a similar fair five years ago. I have never purchased clothing, and if I did, I’d expect it would be some  renaissance wear like a cape or puffy blouse.

This time, I bought a pair of socks. I paid more than three times for this single pair of socks than I have paid for any socks ever to warm my feet. And that was the point. Two days earlier, I’d told my husband I had to find a pair of soft, thick wool socks to wear with my slipper clogs to keep my feet warm in the studio (the floor is always so cold).

It occurs to me now, that the two things I asked the universe for were put before me yesterday. Say what you will about psychic fairs, metaphysical mysteries and the unknown workings of the universe. I’m sitting here today with relaxed shoulders and warm feet.

I also have a rested body and brain, ready to bring my word count up to par and reach the halfway point of a completed novel (first draft) written in one month. So while wasting the day when I should have been writing maybe didn’t seem like such a good plan, it was what I needed after all.

All work and no play is just too exhausting these days.

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